DPR lieutenant colonel Vladimir Tsemakh, captured by agents of the Security Service of Ukraine SBU and taken to a court in Kyiv, will have to answer not only for his involvement in Russia’s operation to shoot down the Malaysia Airlines Boeing, but also for the murder of Ukrainian soldiers, writes journalist Yuriy Butusov.
In a video interview given in 2015, Tsemakh, under the alias “Borisych”, explains how his division took part in the fight for the 43rd checkpoint near Snizhne on August 6, 2014.
On that day, a detachment of mercenaries under Tsemakh’s command opened fire on a convoy of the 30th mechanized brigade from a 23 mm ZU-23 cannon.
Tsemakh had fought for two years in Afghanistan, as well as in Sloviansk and near Snizhne in May 2014, whereas the soldiers of the 30th brigade, who were traveling in convoy that morning to the 43rd checkpoint, had no experience at the time. The had entered sector D only a week ago, and had no information that the enemy was preparing to attack. For all of them, it was their first combat. After a brief exchange of fire, the Ukrainian troops retreated.
Unfortunately, four Ukrainians soldiers remained at the site of the fighting – alive, they were not killed in the crossfire. At 10:30 sergeant Volodymyr Stepaniuk phoned his friend Oleksandr Yaskul and said that he was wounded, and that Yuriy Chechet was lying wounded nearby on the road, and that he intended to help him.
At 13:46, however, Volodymyr’s mother received a phone call from his phone and an unfamiliar gruff voice said: “Your son is dead. Don’t mess with us. This is the DPR.”
Tsemakh’s troops did not save the wounded Stepaniuk and Chechet, they killed them on the spot. The bodies of the four Ukrainian soldiers were found and recovered by volunteers from the Evacuation-200 mission. Their remains were disfigured.